We’ve got chops.
With a combined fifty years in the industry, the Cast Iron team brings a blend of experience, focus and finesse to every project.
Lana Veenker, CSA, ICDN
Founder/Principal, Casting Director
With more than twenty years of experience in the entertainment industry, Lana’s credits span the globe. Before founding Cast Iron Studios (formerly Lana Veenker Casting) in 1999, she acted in France, England and Venezuela, lived in India and the West Indies, and helped hire European leads for major studios and networks as part of a London casting office. In the U.S., she has grown Portland-based Cast Iron Studios into one of the top location casting companies in the country by working with directors such as Jean-Marc Vallée, Gus Van Sant, Robert Benton, Guillermo Arriaga, Catherine Hardwicke, Tim Robbins and Sean Penn. Her company’s commercial division has spearheaded countless award-winning projects for Nike, Apple, Facebook, Nintendo and more, and has worked on major international campaigns everywhere from Shanghai to Santiago. As a member of the International Casting Directors Network (ICDN) and the Casting Society of America (CSA), Lana maintains strong partnerships worldwide. She speaks French and Spanish, and frequently lectures in the U.S. and abroad, most recently at the Finnish Actors’ Union in Helsinki, Amsterdam School of the Arts, Actors in Scandinavia in Stockholm, Prague Film School, The Actors Platform in London, Webster University in Vienna, The Acting Studio in Berlin, Studio Bleu in Paris, and in ports of call from Tonga to Trieste aboard the luxury liner M/V The World. In a single week, she’s been known to sway legislators with compelling arguments for Oregon’s film incentives, fly to Paris to produce a staged reading and top-rope up the side of an Austrian WWII anti-aircraft tower.
After graduating with a theatre degree from Western Washington University, driving buses in Alaska and wrangling actors in Chicago at O’Connor Casting, she returned to Portland in 2005. Soon after, she joined Cast Iron Studios, and since then she’s cemented strong relationships with everyone from regional actors to agents, producers and teachers. Eryn currently oversees the commercial and print divisions at Cast Iron, and is co-casting director of its television and film divisions. Her relaxed presence behind the camera puts talent at ease, while her devotion to finding the best talent for every project puts clients at ease. Memorable job escapades include visiting 11 strip clubs in three nights to interview dancers for a major film, approaching attractive athletes for sports shoots and conducting a casting session on the Columbia River in kayaks. Eryn possesses two fully functioning green thumbs and can usually be found having a good time, though not in high heels.
Casting Associate/Associate Producer
A Pacific Northwest native, Ranielle has worked in the film and entertainment industry since 1999. She started by reviewing films for American Dreamer Independent Filmworks and coordinating an art exhibit for the 25th anniversary of the Seattle International Film Festival. But it was her three-year stint as secretary of state for the Seattle film lovers’ group TheWarrenReport, as well as her position as coordinator of the 1 Reel Film Festival at Bumbershoot, that cemented Ranielle’s place in the film and entertainment industry. In the publicity and promotions department at Terry Hines & Associates, Ranielle liaised with members of the Portland and Seattle media while designing and executing regional campaigns for major studio releases from Walt Disney Pictures, Focus Features and Warner Bros. Pictures, among many others. Since 2007, she’s been working behind the curtain at Cast Iron Studios, ensuring all the cogs and gears of the office are well-oiled, while sharing nuggets of pop culture trivia. She’s been told she looks like Ally Sheedy, which is fine by her; she likes “The Breakfast Club.”
Gwen is a Chicago native who, in 2011, brought her extensive production and media background to the Pacific Northwest. She holds a degree in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management from Columbia College and nearly a decade of gold-standard production experience with The Oprah Winfrey Show. Whether finding runway models for a Nike fashion show, a relatable soccer mom for a Martha Stewart product demo, or the perfect stunt driver for a Volkswagen sponsorship, Gwen located the best fit for each show. Some of her proudest moments have come from her experience at The Oprah Show: raising over three million dollars to help Congolese rape victims; accompanying an entire audience on their trip of a lifetime to Sydney, Australia; being a part of the most talked about car giveaway in television history; and coordinating star-studded memorable episodes with celebrities such as Dolly Parton, Beyoncé, John Travolta, Back Street Boys, Peter Frampton, Tim Gunn, Jessica Simpson, and many more. Gwen is an aficionado of British romantic, made-for-TV specials and on rainy Sundays may be found watching this guilty pleasure with her bulldog at her side.
For the past 12 years, Will Fendon has worked as a screenwriter in television and film, where he’s been a contributing writer to such programs as “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Safari Tracks” and many others. In addition to optioning his own screenplays to film studios and independent production companies, he has served as a script consultant to literary agencies and organizations such as William Morris Endeavor, The American Film Institute and numerous production companies. For the past four years, he has been selected as a judge for the Writers Guild of America (West) Awards in the sitcom and one-hour episodic comedy categories.
Fendon received a BA in English literature from Principia College and an MFA from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, where he was the first-ever recipient of the Jack Oakie award for comedic screenwriting. When he’s not busy on a project, he enjoys working on a creative writing mentor program he’s developing for high school kids in his adopted home town of Portland, OR, and having epic Nerf gun battles with his twin boys.
We provide everything from casting to development in the Northwest and abroad.
Script & Production Development
Actor Workshops & Career Consultations